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December 23, 2011


by DMWood

“Hi, I’m Mallori and I’ll be serving you tonight.  Can I get you something to drink?”

“Sure, I’ll have iced tea with lemon.”

“I’ll be back in a moment.  Let me know if you have any questions about the menu.”


(Mallori leaves and returns soon with the tea and sits across from the patron in the booth.  She pulls out her pad and pen.  She is twenty’ish with shoulder length hair and a nice figure.  She is wearing black slacks and a black tee-shirt with the restaurant’s logo on the left and a beer ad on the back.  The patron is mid-fifties and dressed in a sports coat with a tie.)

“What can I get for you?”

“I’ll have the St. Louis style ribs with the dry rub, half order, with a baked sweet potato and cole slaw.”

“Good choice.  Are you from this area?”

“No, traveling.”

“Where are you from?”

“Upstate, Binghamton.”

“I’ve been there.  I participated in a gymnastics competition when I was younger.  It was in some big building in town.”

“Probably the Arena.”

“Yes, that was probably it.  It was nice there.”

(Mallori leaves and when she returns later, she touches the patron on the shoulder as she passes.)

What was going on in her mind when she decided to sit across from the patron?  Just being nice, looking for a big tip or was there another ulterior, more sinister, motive?  Or did she just have a personality that was just friendly in this way?  Why did she touch him?  Same reasons?  Did she do this with all her patrons or just some?

What was going through the patron’s mind when Mallori sat down and later when she touched him?  Since he was traveling, did he see this as some type of invitation?  Who might have been waiting for him back in Binghamton?  What was that relationship?  Would he tell others about this incident?  If he did, what would be the context?

If one or both of these characters were to be used in a story, what would be emphasized?  Her or him?  Why was he traveling?  Was this normal for him or a rare occurrence?  Is this a one-time chance meeting or will they meet again?  Soon or much later?  Is there another connection between the two of them?  What if one misinterprets the actions of the others?  What if both?

[This incident and the two characters were used later in a Prompt with the Triple Cities Writing Group.]

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